Neo4j “Track & Hack” RFID-Graph at JRubyConf.EU

I’m super excited that I was able to sponsor, attend, speak and “Track & Hack” at JRubyConf.EU.

With the “Track & Hack” project, we wanted to create an open and live dataset of the presence and interaction of conference attendees. We used active OpenBeacon RFID tags which can be used both for calculating positions as well as spotting other tags close, to accumulate an “interaction-graph”.

After presenting at an engaging introductory GraphDB-Frankfurt meetup, I attended the very interesting GraphDB-Berlin meetup which covered the Twimpact event processing framework that can be used as a front-end to Neo4j.

Directly after the meetup we traveled to the JRubyConf.EU venue and started setting up the OpenBeacon tracking equipment, attendee-tag-list and the first apps. That was quite adventurous and took half the night, so the next morning we felt a bit sleep deprived.

Early the next morning, the folks from OpenBeacon arrived to help us fine tune the setup, as well as configure a standalone (Atom) Linux-server to collect the information and host the data-stream and apps. We connected it to a big screen and it was a place of curiosity ever after.

The attendees registering for the conference were handed their tags and batteries, and surprisingly all were very keen to participate.

I presented a quick intro to Neo4j and our “Track & Hack” project before the first keynote, and had the opportunity for an additional short talk during which I outlined how well Neo4j integrates with (J)Ruby.

As everything was running, I pushed the local RFID-Graph to Heroku for everyone to look at and play around with.

The graph visualization is still online together with a realtime position-tracking visualization coded by Norbert (which used the live pusher-stream from the local server).

At the conference and also during the following days, there was lot of interest in Neo4j along with the tracking technology and collected dataset. We had a number of really cool graph-related discussions and lots of fun.

I want to thank the organizers Florian Gilcher and Alex Coles of JRubyConf.EU, Norbert Crombach who tirelessly worked with me on setting up and running the participant-tracking, Stefan Plantikow from MoviePilot for co-sponsoring, presenting and helping out, Milosch Meriac and Jeff from OpenBeacon for being on-site and helping us setting up the tracking equipment and providing lots of tips and insights.